In recent months, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has called for the scrapping of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) tests and for the establishment of a single body to ensure that all pupils are prepared and assessed on the same standard.
Last week, Lesui reiterated his call for the cancellation of different examinations for public and private schools, saying South Africa doesn’t need two systems – the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) – in one country.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the closure of public schools for four weeks, starting from July 27 and reopening on August 24.
Lesufi took to Twitter on Thursday night, reiterating his call that the IEB and NSC learners should write the same exams because there is no difference.
“All our learners attend the same universities or higher education institutions regardless of whether they wrote IEB or NSC. Actually, they go to the same workplaces,” said Lesufi.
“Both IEB and NSC are adjudicated by the same body called @UmalusiSA and the pass mark is the same. They also follow the same curriculum.”
He said the rationale for this proposal was to ensure that all learners write similar examinations monitored by a single national examination body.
“Currently‚ there is virtually little difference between the curriculum offered by public and independent schools. Secondly‚ both systems use similar criteria to assess a pass or a fail in the National Senior Certificate. Furthermore‚ all learners compete for jobs and careers in the national and global economy and are also competing for spaces in one single higher education system‚” he said
He added: “We want to argue that the policy conference must open up this debate. We are not saying we are right, and other people might say the current way is correct. But if you look at the posture and the character of these two exams, it gives an impression that the IEB is a difficult one for the rich and the National Senior Certificate is the weaker one for the poor. If we are going to have that kind of mentality, I don’t think it projects the country well.”
“Our argument is that it is not possible to have one examination that is independently monitored, so that those that are fearing that if we combine them the standard will go down, they must be assured that it’s not government that is running it but it is an independent body. But this will also assist all of us to share quality among the entire system and that’s the debate we want to open up.”